Tuesday, March 16, 2010
A Student of Aida Epstein -- Peter Dugan
Peter Dugan, nineteen, began studying piano at the age of five in Philadelphia, PA, where he studied with Aida Epstein and Harvey Wedeen. A Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Scholar, a National AP Scholar, and a National Merit Scholar, Mr. Dugan is currently a freshman at The Juilliard School, where he studies with Matti Raekallio. Mr. Dugan participated in the Perlman Music Program (PMP) during high school summers and returned in 2007 as one of three pianists in PMP’s Chamber Music Workshop, where his coaches included Itzhak Perlman and the Weilersteins. At the Curtis Institute and at the University of Pennsylvania, Peter premiered five contemporary pieces for his brother, composer Leonardo Dugan. Peter has won first prizes at the West Chester University Piano Competition, the Tri-County Concerts Association Competition, and the Warminster Symphony Young Artists’ Competition. He has appeared as a soloist with the Warminster Symphony, the Bryn Athyn Orchestra, and the Philadelphia All-Catholic Orchestra and has played at the Academy of Music, the Kimmel Center, and the WXPN World Café Live. In addition to his solo appearances, Mr. Dugan performs extensively as a chamber musician, jazz pianist, and gospel organist. Recently showcased on NPR’s From the Top with his piano trio, Dugan was praised by The Philadelphia Inquirer as “a little guy with a huge presence, moving artfully at the keyboard . . . even without the visuals, he can swing.”
I worked with Mr. Dugan's mother, Michelle Marchesano Dugan, at The Franklin Institute, in Philadelphia, in the late 1970s. Coincidentally, I worked for Bernard E. Epstein -- husband of Aida Epstein -- at The Franklin Institute.
The Epsteins reside in Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania.
Mr. Epstein had a dismal opinion of Wagner's piano music. I'm not sure Sviatislav Richter would agree. There are those who would describe Wagner as a "little guy (reportedly, 5'4") with a huge presence, who moved artfully at the keyboard."